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Notes on this and that

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POSTED: August 7, 2008 5:00 a.m.

You may have noticed the columns of Bill Shipp have been missing lately.

That’s not my doing.

It’s rather because Renate, Bill’s wife of more than 50 years, passed away earlier this month.

The word is the two of them were extraordinarily close - she was his soulmate, I think - and he is not working at the moment. There’s no word on when, or if, he’ll start writing again.

If he does we’ll welcome him back. If he doesn’t we’ll miss him, but understand.

When we first started running his columns when I became editor in 2006, there were a few folks who didn’t like Bill and said he didn’t represent the standards of this community.

I never figured out what they meant by that, but the complaints stopped coming after time. I like to think it’s because people learned Bill is an equal opportunity offender, and I mean that in a good way. He doesn’t write from one party-line view or the other. He calls it like he sees it.

I don't know about you, but I have a lot of respect for folks who will take on the prevailing wisdom and the powers that be - and remind those in power why they've got jobs. That's why we need more folks like Bill, even if we don’t always agree with them.

And that leads me to this.

We’re constantly looking for people to write commentary on local issues - writers who like Bill call it like they see it. For some reason, few take us up on the offer - which is printed every issue on the Opinion page and again today.

If you don't like the way local officials are running things, let the community know how you think they should be doing things.

If you think I can do a better job running this paper, let me know.

We have plenty of room and the more opinion, the merrier.

Which leads me to this: We're also looking for columnists of a different type - someone who still keeps up with what their friends and neighbors are up to and can write about it.

These used to be a staple in smalltown papers in the South - perhaps in other areas too - and usually included something along the lines of "Bob and Betty Smith went to Atlanta to visit relatives and friends. They toured the Coca Cola plant, ate at the Varsity and enjoyed their trip," or "The members of the Ellabell Sunrise Club took a tour of the Savannah Historic District and learned much about the history of Georgia’s most beautiful city. Our church choir will be having a bake sale in April to raise funds for a new piano."

Those are just examples. Hopefully you get the drift.

If you’re interested in writing for us, shoot me an email at jwhitten@bryancountynews.net

Postscript.

I didn't know about WTOC producer and anchor Stephen Shoob's death in a hit and run accident on I-95 while he was covering a story Monday until Tuesday morning. My condolences to his family.

I'm normally not a big fan of TV news, but recall seeing Stephen on the air reporting during his morning updates.

There was something dignified and earnest about his work, and I think we're all a little bit poorer because of his loss.

 

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